Article by Melia Robinson, Business Insider
George Zimmer has a penchant for speaking his mind.
The 68-year-old serial entrepreneur was fired from Men’s Wearhouse, the company he founded 40 years earlier, in 2013 over differences with the company’s board.
“You know, one of the very small reasons — and I say small — would be that I tended to be kind of a renegade or somebody who said what he thought,” Zimmer told Business Insider about his firing. “That made the board of directors increasingly uncomfortable.”
Zimmer has since launched a tuxedo rental company, Generation Tux, and is channeling his candor into marijuana activism.
Zimmer donated $50,000 in 2010 to an ultimately unsuccessful California ballot initiative that would have legalized marijuana for recreational use. He’s spoken at cannabis conferences in California and Nevada, two states that fully legalized pot in 2016. This week, he’ll add Oregon to the list when he gives the keynote address at the Cannabis Collaborative Conference on February 15.
On lending his iconic, gravelly voice to the marijuana legalization movement, Zimmer said, “It was just one of those little things that I did over my life that pissed people off.”
Zimmer says he smoked weed for the first time while attending Washington University in St. Louis in the 1960s, and he continues to use the drug. He told Inc. magazine in 2016 that he used to inhale “anything that combusts” and that he once smoked six joints in an hour with the spiritual icon Ram Dass.